2017-18 Peñasco Lady Panthers pre-season preview

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Peñasco Lady Panthers at a glance

Colors: Blue, gold

Coach: Gilbert Mascareñas (second year; 18-10 career)

2016 overall record: 18-10

District 5-2A record: 4-4

District 5-2A teams: Escalante Lady Lobos, Mesa Vista Lady Trojans, Mora Rangerettes, Peñasco Lady Panthers, Questa Lady Cats.

Key players

Estrella “Star” González, senior. Aggressive and relentless, the lone senior provides an extra level of competitiveness to this young, talented roster.

Bianca Contreras, junior. Contreras can play many positions – primarily lining up in the guard position, but also has the size to mix it up in the middle if needed. Named to the 2016-17 all-district team, Contreras is a potent scorer and defender who can produce steals and lead the fast-break.

Adrianna Tafoya, sophomore. A prolific scorer, the sophomore guard brings a multi-faceted game to the Lady Panthers including a long-range shot with the ability to rise above defenders with her drives, mid-range shooting and open court speed.

Carly Gonzáles, sophomore. Gonzales brings athleticism, height and leadership and a champion’s attitude to the Lady Panthers. Her calm demeanor is counterbalanced with silent-killer attributes. Gonzales also provides a positive attitude that encourages her teammates to work hard.

Lady Panthers Roster:

Estrella “Star” Gonzalez, senior; Alaska Lopez, junior; Bianca Contreras, junior; Jennifer Aguilar, sophomore; Arianna MacAuley, sophomore; Leandra Romero, sophomore; Adrianna Tafoya, sophomore; Carly Gonzales, sophomore; Alexandra Sandoval, sophomore.

2017 Outlook

The Lady Panthers picked up a great deal of experience last year. Despite a roster that contained mostly freshmen, Peñasco achieved several milestones during the regular season and in the post season in 2016-17 – exceeding expectations of first-year coach Gilbert Mascareñas.

The Lady Panthers finished the season with 1,598 total points, which was fourth-best overall in class 2A in the state. Tatum (1,723) Mescalero Apache (1,630) and Ft. Sumner/ House (1,630) were the only teams to eclipse Peñasco in this category in 2016-17. In district play, the Lady Panthers scored 458 total points and allowed just 395 to earn a 57.3 point-per-game average against a 49.8 point-per-game average for opponents. Count on seeing this trend continue this year as the team has the tools to employ uptempo bursts that will produce final scores in the 60’s on a regular basis.

District 5-2A remains one of the toughest leagues in the state, as evidenced by the rise of the Escalante Lady Lobos who made it to the state finals in 2016. Peñasco has the potential to be competitive in every game and in every classic tournament the squad is entered in this year.

2017 Lady Panthers schedule

Bold - denotes home meet.

* - denotes district 5-2A game

(All home games to take place at Jicarita Peñasco Gymnasium)

Nov. 21, at Ratón, 6 p.m.

Nov. 25, at Cimarrón, 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 27, Clayton, 5 p.m.

Nov. 28, Ratón, 6 p.m.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at SFIS Tourney, T.B.A.

Dec. 9, Coronado (Gallina), 4 p.m.

Dec. 11, Cimarrón, 5 p.m.

Dec. 14-16, Ben Luján Invite (Pojoaque Valley H.S.), T.B.A.

Dec. 22, at Tucumcari, 7 p.m.

Jan. 4-6, at NRG Tournament (Pojoaque Valley H.S), T.B.A.

Jan. 10, at Robertson (Las Vegas), 7 p.m.

Jan. 18, Mora, 5 p.m.*

Jan. 23, at McCurdy, 6 p.m.

Jan. 25, at Escalante, 7 p.m.*

Jan. 27, Mesa Vista, 4 p.m.* (Homecoming)

Feb. 1, at Questa, 6:30 p.m.*

Feb. 3, at Mora, 2:30 p.m.*

Feb. 10, Escalante, 4 p.m.*

Feb. 14, at Mesa Vista, 6 p.m.*

Feb. 17, Questa, 4 p.m.*

Schedule game dates, times, opponents and locations are subject to changes, updates, postponements, delays and cancellations.

Mark your calendar

The Lady Panthers did not enter the Annual Cowbell tournament due to the awkward snub that occurred at last year’s event. Instead, the team received an invitation to attend the Santa Fe Indian School Tourney and the Ben Lujan Tournament in Pojoaque during the month of December. Make plans to see the Lady Panthers duke it out with bigger schools during these exciting gatherings.

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